, Volume 11, Issue 7, pp 1269-1288

Boreal carabid-beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) assemblages along the clear-cut originated succession gradient

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We examined the occurrence of carabid beetles along a forest successiongradient in central Finland (forest age classes: 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60years since clear-cutting). Species richness of carabids was higherin the two youngest age classes, while no clear differences were detected incarabid abundance. The high species richness in the young, open sites was due toinvasion of open-habitat species. Many forest species were absent from or scarcein the young sites and became gradually more abundant towards the older forestage classes. The catches indicated a drastic decrease and assemblage-levelchange in concert with canopy closure, i.e. 20–30 years afterclear-cutting. Some forest specialists with poor dispersal ability may facelocal extinction, if the proportion of mature forest decreases further and theremaining mature stands become more isolated. We recommend that, whileharvesting timber, connectivity between mature stands is ensured, mature standsare maintained close (a few tens of metres) to each other and the matrix qualityis improved for forest species by green tree retention.